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Tag Archives: netherlands
Posted: July 21, 2016 at 2:11 am
strategic philosopher Max More
Dr. Max More is an internationally acclaimed strategic futurist who writes, speaks, and organizes events about the fundamental challenges of emerging technologies. Max is concerned that our rapidly developing technological capabilities are racing far ahead of our standard ways of thinking about future possibilities. His work aims to improve our ability to anticipate, adapt to, and shape the future for the better.
In developing, communicating, and implementing better ways of foreseeing possible futures and of making decisions under growing uncertainty, Max takes a highly interdisciplinary approach. Drawing on philosophy, economics, cognitive and social psychology, management theory, and other fields, he develops solutions and strategies for minimizing the dangers of progress and maximizing the benefits.
Dr. More co-founded and until 2007acted as Chairman of Extropy Institute, a diverse network of innovative thinkers committed to creating solutions to enduring humanproblems. He authored the Principles of Extropy, which form the core of a transhumanist perspective. As a leading transhumanist thinker, Max strongly challenges traditional, limiting beliefs about the possibilities of our future. At the same time, he tempers visionary aims with analytical and practical strategizing.
As a writer, Max has authored dozens of articles and papers on topics including how to improve and apply critical and creative thinking, especially about uncertain future possibilities; the ethics of biotechnology and other technologies that directly affect humans; the philosophical implications of technological transformations of human nature; and strategic futures thinking in business. He recently wrote the Proactionary Principle, the latest of influential pieces that include “The Principles of Extropy”, and A Letter to Mother Nature. He is currently working on a book, tentatively titled Beyond Caution, that responds to resurgent neophobia with a spirited yet balanced defense of progress.
As a speaker, Max frequently lectures at conferences and companies, gives seminars, and engages in debates and panel discussions on issues surrounding the impact of emerging technologies. Known as a highly capable communicator, he is able to synthesize diverse areas of knowledge and communicate the results clearly and insightfully.
As an organizer, Max brings together a diverse range of thinkers, scientists, philosophers, artists, and entrepreneurs to examine technological and social trends and then form individual and organizational strategies for flourishing in a time of accelerated change.
As a consultant, Max (as part of the ManyWorlds team) works with companies and other organizations to improve strategic futures thinking and weave it into regular decision-making and innovation processes. This includes analyzing the interaction of technological trends, and developing strategic scenarios.
His academic background: Max has a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from St. Annes College, Oxford University (1984-87). He was awarded a Deans Fellowship in Philosophy in 1987 by the University of Southern California. Max studied and taught philosophy at USC with an emphasis on philosophy of mind, ethics, and personal identity, completing his Ph.D. in 1995, with a dissertation that examined issues including the nature of death, and what it is about each individual that continues despite great change over time.
He is currently writing a book on the forces driving us into the future and how to apply cognitive and strategic tools to improve our thinking about the resulting issues.
Born in January 1964 in Bristol, in the Southwest of England of half-English, half-Welsh ancestry. Married since 1996 to Natasha Vita-More. After living for 15 years in the Los Angeles area, Max moved to Austin, Texas in 2002.
At least since watching the Apollo 11 moon landing at the age of 5, Max has always been fascinated by the possibilities offered by technology for overcoming limits. He started a personal life extension regimen in his early teens, and created several publications to discuss ideas about space colonization, life extension, cognitive enhancement, and liberty. His deep interest in economics shifted increasingly to philosophy as he formulated a “big picture” of possible futures. At the age of 40, More has been writing about these ideas and organizing practical activity for over 20 years. Before moving to the USA in 1987, he incorporated the first biostasis organization in Britain, generating considerable media coverage. His doctoral work on personal identity analyzed the effects of technology on the self, and alternatives to current conceptions of death and identity.
Max More has become a widely recognized thinker on the philosophical and cultural implications of advanced, emerging, and future technologies. Echoing the words of his instructors throughout his education, reporters have noted his ability to explain clearly and persuasively radical and complex ideas. Jim McClellan, in his major 1995 Observer (UK newspaper) article, said: “The funny thing about Max is that while his ideas are wild, he argues them so calmly and rationally you find yourself being drawn in.”
Maxs ideas and background have been described in publications such as Wired (where Ed Regis described him as “the primary intellectual force behind Extropianism”) The Village Voice, Icon, Knowledge@Wharton, The L.A. Weekly, GQ (Britain), GQ (Spain), The New York Times Magazine, Focus, .net, and ct (Germany), the national UK newspapers The Observer, The Guardian, and The Sunday Times.
His ideas have been discussed in books including Gundolf Freyermuths Cyberland, Brian Alexanders Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion, Damien Brodericks The Spike, Chris Dewdneys Last Flesh, Mark Derys Escape Velocity, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us, by Rodney Brooks, Erik Daviss Techgnosis, among others.
Television and video appearances include a bioethics debate on Crossfire, two series on The Learning Channel and the Discovery Channel, documentaries in France, Switzerland, Spain, the Netherlands, Russia, Chile, and Belgium, the Terry Wogan Show (then Britains top talk show); CNNs Futurewatch; the CBS series Mysteries of the Millennium; several appearances on Breakthroughs: A Transcentury Update cable TV show; the documentaries New Edge and the theatrical release Synthetic Pleasures; and many other television and radio shows. Dr. Mores thinking has been discussed in a dozen books. He has also appeared in at least two novels, but continues to insist that he is a real person.
When not working, he may be found scuba diving, skiing, shooting, or in the gym weight-training or running, or at home playing with his cats Quark and Quasar and his dog Oscar.
AND? DON’T BE BASHFUL…
Marvin Minsky, the father of artificial intelligence, said of Dr. More: We have a dreadful shortage of people who know so much, can both think so boldly and clearly, and can express themselves so articulately. Carl Sagan was another such oneand (partly by paying the price of his life) managed to capture the public eye. But Sagan is gone and has not been replaced. I see Max as my candidate for that post. Ray Kurzweil, author, inventor, and winner of the Presidential Medal for innovation in technology said: Max More’s ideas are very influential among other “big thinkers,” who in turn are influence leaders themselves. Max’s writings represent well grounded science futurism, and reflect a sophisticated understanding of technology trends and how these trends are likely to develop during this coming century.
Max More: email@example.com
See the article here:
Posted: July 12, 2016 at 5:27 am
Alternative title: NATO
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 4, 1949, which sought to create a counterweight to Soviet armies stationed in central and eastern Europe after World War II. Its original members were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Joining the original signatories were Greece and Turkey (1952); West Germany (1955; from 1990 as Germany); Spain (1982); the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999); Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004); and Albania and Croatia (2009). France withdrew from the integrated military command of NATO in 1966 but remained a member of the organization; it resumed its position in NATOs military command in 2009.
The heart of NATO is expressed in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, in which the signatory members agree that
an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all; and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in 2001, after terrorist attacks organized by exiled Saudi Arabian millionaire Osama bin Laden destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City and part of the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., killing some 3,000 people.
Article 6 defines the geographic scope of the treaty as covering an armed attack on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America. Other articles commit the allies to strengthening their democratic institutions, to building their collective military capability, to consulting each other, and to remaining open to inviting other European states to join.
Barkley, Alben W.: North Atlantic Treaty signingEncyclopdia Britannica, Inc.After World War II in 1945, western Europe was economically exhausted and militarily weak (the western Allies had rapidly and drastically reduced their armies at the end of the war), and newly powerful communist parties had arisen in France and Italy. By contrast, the Soviet Union had emerged from the war with its armies dominating all the states of central and eastern Europe, and by 1948 communists under Moscows sponsorship had consolidated their control of the governments of those countries and suppressed all noncommunist political activity. What became known as the Iron Curtain, a term popularized by Winston Churchill, had descended over central and eastern Europe. Further, wartime cooperation between the western Allies and the Soviets had completely broken down. Each side was organizing its own sector of occupied Germany, so that two German states would emerge, a democratic one in the west and a communist one in the east.
In 1948 the United States launched the Marshall Plan, which infused massive amounts of economic aid to the countries of western and southern Europe on the condition that they cooperate with each other and engage in joint planning to hasten their mutual recovery. As for military recovery, under the Brussels Treaty of 1948, the United Kingdom, France, and the Low CountriesBelgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourgconcluded a collective-defense agreement called the Western European Union. It was soon recognized, however, that a more formidable alliance would be required to provide an adequate military counterweight to the Soviets.
By this time Britain, Canada, and the United States had already engaged in secret exploratory talks on security arrangements that would serve as an alternative to the United Nations (UN), which was becoming paralyzed by the rapidly emerging Cold War. In March 1948, following a virtual communist coup dtat in Czechoslovakia in February, the three governments began discussions on a multilateral collective-defense scheme that would enhance Western security and promote democratic values. These discussions were eventually joined by France, the Low Countries, and Norway and in April 1949 resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty.
Spurred by the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950, the United States took steps to demonstrate that it would resist any Soviet military expansion or pressures in Europe. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the leader of the Allied forces in western Europe in World War II, was named Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) by the North Atlantic Council (NATOs governing body) in December 1950. He was followed as SACEUR by a succession of American generals.
The North Atlantic Council, which was established soon after the treaty came into effect, is composed of ministerial representatives of the member states, who meet at least twice a year. At other times the council, chaired by the NATO secretary-general, remains in permanent session at the ambassadorial level. Just as the position of SACEUR has always been held by an American, the secretary-generalship has always been held by a European.
NATOs military organization encompasses a complete system of commands for possible wartime use. The Military Committee, consisting of representatives of the military chiefs of staff of the member states, subsumes two strategic commands: Allied Command Operations (ACO) and Allied Command Transformation (ACT). ACO is headed by the SACEUR and located at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Casteau, Belgium. ACT is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. During the alliances first 20 years, more than $3 billion worth of infrastructure for NATO forcesbases, airfields, pipelines, communications networks, depotswas jointly planned, financed, and built, with about one-third of the funding from the United States. NATO funding generally is not used for the procurement of military equipment, which is provided by the member statesthough the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force, a fleet of radar-bearing aircraft designed to protect against a surprise low-flying attack, was funded jointly.
A serious issue confronting NATO in the early and mid-1950s was the negotiation of West Germanys participation in the alliance. The prospect of a rearmed Germany was understandably greeted with widespread unease and hesitancy in western Europe, but the countrys strength had long been recognized as necessary to protect western Europe from a possible Soviet invasion. Accordingly, arrangements for West Germanys safe participation in the alliance were worked out as part of the Paris Agreements of October 1954, which ended the occupation of West German territory by the western Allies and provided for both the limitation of West German armaments and the countrys accession to the Brussels Treaty. In May 1955 West Germany joined NATO, which prompted the Soviet Union to form the Warsaw Pact alliance in central and eastern Europe the same year. The West Germans subsequently contributed many divisions and substantial air forces to the NATO alliance. By the time the Cold War ended, some 900,000 troopsnearly half of them from six countries (United States, Unite
d Kingdom, France, Belgium, Canada, and the Netherlands)were stationed in West Germany.
Frances relationship with NATO became strained after 1958, as President Charles de Gaulle increasingly criticized the organizations domination by the United States and the intrusion upon French sovereignty by NATOs many international staffs and activities. He argued that such integration subjected France to automatic war at the decision of foreigners. In July 1966 France formally withdrew from the military command structure of NATO and required NATO forces and headquarters to leave French soil; nevertheless, de Gaulle proclaimed continued French adherence to the North Atlantic Treaty in case of unprovoked aggression. After NATO moved its headquarters from Paris to Brussels, France maintained a liaison relationship with NATOs integrated military staffs, continued to sit in the council, and continued to maintain and deploy ground forces in West Germany, though it did so under new bilateral agreements with the West Germans rather than under NATO jurisdiction. In 2009 France rejoined the military command structure of NATO.
From its founding, NATOs primary purpose was to unify and strengthen the Western Allies military response to a possible invasion of western Europe by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. In the early 1950s NATO relied partly on the threat of massive nuclear retaliation from the United States to counter the Warsaw Pacts much larger ground forces. Beginning in 1957, this policy was supplemented by the deployment of American nuclear weapons in western European bases. NATO later adopted a flexible response strategy, which the United States interpreted to mean that a war in Europe did not have to escalate to an all-out nuclear exchange. Under this strategy, many Allied forces were equipped with American battlefield and theatre nuclear weapons under a dual-control (or dual-key) system, which allowed both the country hosting the weapons and the United States to veto their use. Britain retained control of its strategic nuclear arsenal but brought it within NATOs planning structures; Frances nuclear forces remained completely autonomous.
A conventional and nuclear stalemate between the two sides continued through the construction of the Berlin Wall in the early 1960s, dtente in the 1970s, and the resurgence of Cold War tensions in the 1980s after the Soviet Unions invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the election of U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1980. After 1985, however, far-reaching economic and political reforms introduced by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev fundamentally altered the status quo. In July 1989 Gorbachev announced that Moscow would no longer prop up communist governments in central and eastern Europe and thereby signaled his tacit acceptance of their replacement by freely elected (and noncommunist) administrations. Moscows abandonment of control over central and eastern Europe meant the dissipation of much of the military threat that the Warsaw Pact had formerly posed to western Europe, a fact that led some to question the need to retain NATO as a military organizationespecially after the Warsaw Pacts dissolution in 1991. The reunification of Germany in October 1990 and its retention of NATO membership created both a need and an opportunity for NATO to be transformed into a more political alliance devoted to maintaining international stability in Europe.
After the Cold War, NATO was reconceived as a cooperative-security organization whose mandate was to include two main objectives: to foster dialogue and cooperation with former adversaries in the Warsaw Pact and to manage conflicts in areas on the European periphery, such as the Balkans. In keeping with the first objective, NATO established the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (1991; later replaced by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council) to provide a forum for the exchange of views on political and security issues, as well as the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program (1994) to enhance European security and stability through joint military training exercises with NATO and non-NATO states, including the former Soviet republics and allies. Special cooperative links were also set up with two PfP countries: Russia and Ukraine.
The second objective entailed NATOs first use of military force, when it entered the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 by staging air strikes against Bosnian Serb positions around the capital city of Sarajevo. The subsequent Dayton Accords, which were initialed by representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, committed each state to respecting the others sovereignty and to settling disputes peacefully; it also laid the groundwork for stationing NATO peacekeeping troops in the region. A 60,000-strong Implementation Force (IFOR) was initially deployed, though a smaller contingent remained in Bosnia under a different name, the Stabilization Force (SFOR). In March 1999 NATO launched massive air strikes against Serbia in an attempt to force the Yugoslav government of Slobodan Miloevi to accede to diplomatic provisions designed to protect the predominantly Muslim Albanian population in the province of Kosovo. Under the terms of a negotiated settlement to the fighting, NATO deployed a peacekeeping force called the Kosovo Force (KFOR).
The crisis over Kosovo and the ensuing war gave renewed impetus to efforts by the European Union (EU) to construct a new crisis-intervention force, which would make the EU less dependent on NATO and U.S. military resources for conflict management. These efforts prompted significant debates about whether enhancing the EUs defensive capabilities would strengthen or weaken NATO. Simultaneously there was much discussion of the future of NATO in the post-Cold War era. Some observers argued that the alliance should be dissolved, noting that it was created to confront an enemy that no longer existed; others called for a broad expansion of NATO membership to include Russia. Most suggested alternative roles, including peacekeeping. By the start of the second decade of the 21st century, it appeared likely that the EU would not develop capabilities competitive with those of NATO or even seek to do so; as a result, earlier worries associated with the spectre of rivalry between the two Brussels-based organizations dissipated.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization: flag-raising ceremony, 1999NATO photosDuring the presidency of Bill Clinton (19932001), the United States led an initiative to enlarge NATO membership gradually to include some of the former Soviet allies. In the concurrent debate over enlargement, supporters of the initiative argued that NATO membership was the best way to begin the long process of integrating these states into regional political and economic institutions such as the EU. Some also feared future Russian aggression and suggested that NATO membership would guarantee freedom and security for the newly democratic regimes. Opponents pointed to the enormous cost of modernizing the military forces of new members; they also argued that enlargement, which Russia would regard as a provocation, would hinder democracy in that country and enhance the influence of hard-liners. Despite these disagreements, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO in 1999; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia were admitted in 2004; and Albania and Croatia acceded to the alliance in 2009.
Meanwhile, by the beginning of the 21st century, Russia and NATO had formed a strategic relationship. No longer considered NATOs chief enemy, Russ
ia cemented a new cooperative bond with NATO in 2001 to address such common concerns as international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, and arms control. This bond was subsequently subject to fraying, however, in large part because of reasons associated with Russian domestic politics.
Events following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 led to the forging of a new dynamic within the alliance, one that increasingly favoured the military engagement of members outside Europe, initially with a mission against Taliban forces in Afghanistan beginning in the summer of 2003 and subsequently with air operations against the regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi in Libya in early 2011. As a result of the increased tempo of military operations undertaken by the alliance, the long-standing issue of burden sharing was revived, with some officials warning that failure to share the costs of NATO operations more equitably would lead to unraveling of the alliance. Most observers regarded that scenario as unlikely, however.
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North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) | Britannica.com
Posted: July 9, 2016 at 8:18 pm
[Greek, good death.] The term normally implies an intentional termination of life by another at the explicit request of the person who wishes to die. Euthanasia is generally defined as the act of killing an incurably ill person out of concern and compassion for that person’s suffering. It is sometimes called mercy killing, but many advocates of euthanasia define mercy killing more precisely as the ending of another person’s life without his or her request. Euthanasia, on the other hand, is usually separated into two categories: passive euthanasia and active euthanasia. In many jurisdictions, active euthanasia can be considered murder or Manslaughter, whereas passive euthanasia is accepted by professional medical societies, and by the law under certain circumstances.
Hastening the death of a person by altering some form of support and letting nature take its course is known as passive euthanasia. Examples include such things as turning off respirators, halting medications, discontinuing food and water so as to allowing a person to dehydrate or starve to death, or failure to resuscitate.
Passive euthanasia also includes giving a patient large doses of morphine to control pain, in spite of the likelihood that the painkiller will suppress respiration and cause death earlier than it otherwise would have happened. Such doses of painkillers have a dual effect of relieving pain and hastening death. Administering such medication is regarded as ethical in most political jurisdictions and by most medical societies.
These procedures are performed on terminally ill, suffering persons so that natural death will occur sooner. They are also commonly performed on persons in a persistent vegetative state; for example, individuals with massive brain damage or in a coma from which they likely will not regain consciousness.
Far more controversial, active euthanasia involves causing the death of a person through a direct action, in response to a request from that person. A well-known example of active euthanasia was the death of a terminally ill Michigan patient on September 17, 1998. On that date, Dr. Jack Kevorkian videotaped himself administering a lethal medication to Thomas Youk, a 52-year-old Michigan man with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. CBS broadcast the videotape on 60 Minutes less than a week later. Authorities subsequently charged Kevorkian with first-degree premeditated murder, criminal assistance of a suicide, and delivery of a controlled substance for administering lethal medication to a terminally ill man. There was no dispute that the dose was administered at the request of Mr. Youk, nor any dispute that Mr. Youk was terminally ill. A jury found Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder in 1999. He was sent to prison.
Somewhat of a hybrid between passive and active euthanasia is physician-assisted suicide (PAS), also known as voluntary passive euthanasia. In this situation, a physician supplies information and/or the means of committing suicide (e.g., a prescription for lethal dose of sleeping pills, or a supply of carbon monoxide gas) to a person, so that that individual can successfully terminate his or her own life.
Physician-assisted suicide received greater public attention after Dr. Kevorkian, a retired pathologist from Michigan, participated in his first such procedure in 1990. Kevorkian set up a machine that allowed a 54-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (a degenerative neurological condition) to press a button that delivered a lethal poison into her veins. Kevorkian went on to assist in the suicides of dozens of individuals suffering from terminal, debilitating, or chronic illnesses. In 1992, Michigan passed an assisted-suicide bill (Mich. Comp. Laws 752.1021) that was specifically designed to stop Kevorkian’s activities, but technicalities and questions as to its constitutionality delayed its implementation, thus allowing Kevorkian to continue assisting suicidesoften in direct opposition to court injunctions.
Kevorkian was charged with murder several times but was not initially found guilty. When murder charges were brought against him for his first three assisted suicides, for example, they were dismissed because Michigan, at that time, had no law against assisted suicide. In 1994, Kevorkian was tried and found not guilty of assisting in the August 1993 suicide of Thomas W. Hyde Jr. In December 1994, however, Michigan’s supreme court ruled in People v. Kevorkian, 447 Mich. 436, 527 N.W. 2d 714, that there is no constitutional right to commit suicide, with or without assistance, and upheld the Michigan statute that made assisted suicide a crime. The following year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Kevorkian’s appeal from the state supreme court’s ruling.
Observers disagree about the humanity of Kevorkian’s activities. Some see him as a hero who sought to give suffering people greater choice and dignity in dying. Others point to his lack of procedural precautions and fear that the widespread practice of assisted suicide will lead to the unnecessary death of people who could have been helped by other means, including treatment for depression. Many opponents of assisted suicide find the same faults in the practice that they see in other forms of euthanasia. They envision its leading to a devaluation of human life and even to a genocidal killing of vulnerable or so-called undesirable individuals.
The U.S. Supreme Court has made two important rulings on assisted suicide. In washington v. glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 117 S.Ct. 2258, 138 L.Ed.2d 772, 65 (1997), three terminally ill patients, four physicians, and a non-profit organization had brought action against the state of Washington for Declaratory Judgment, that a statute banning assisted suicide violated due process clause. On June 26, 1997, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the right of states to prohibit assisted suicide, holding that: (1) asserted right to assistance in committing suicide was not a fundamental liberty interest protected by due process clause, and (2) Washington’s ban on assisted suicide was rationally related to legitimate government interests. In Vacco v. Quill, 521 U.S. 793, 117 S.Ct. 2293, 138 L.Ed.2d 834 (1997), physicians challenged the constitutionality of New York statutes making it a crime to aid a person in committing suicide or attempting to commit suicide. The Supreme Court held that New York’s prohibition on assisting suicide did not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The term involuntary euthanasia is used to describe the killing of a person who has not explicitly requested aid in dying. This term is most often used with respect to patients who are in a persistent vegetative state and who probably will never recover consciousness.
Euthanasia is a divisive topic, and different interpretations of its meaning, practice, and morality abound. Those who favor active euthanasia and a patient’s right to die, do not acknowledge a distinction between active and passive euthanasia. They assert that the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment cannot be distinguished in principle from affirmative steps to hasten a patient’s death. In both situations, they argue, a person intends to cause the patient’s death, acts out of compassionate motives, and causes the same outcome. In their view, turning off a life-sustaining respirator switch and giving a lethal injection are morally equivalent actions.
Opponents of active euthanasia argue that it undermines the value of, and respect for, all human life; erodes trust in physicians; desensitizes society to killing; and contradicts many
people’s religious beliefs. Moreover, they maintain that the intentions and natures of active and passive euthanasia are not essentially the same. In active euthanasia, a person directly intends to cause death and uses available means to achieve this end. In passive euthanasia, a person decides against using a certain form of treatment and then directs that such treatment be withdrawn or withheld, accepting but not intending the patient’s death, which is caused by the underlying illness.
While people cite differing reasons for choosing to end their own lives, those suffering from a terminal illness typically state that a serious disorder or disease has adversely affected their quality of life to the point where they no longer wish to continue living. Under such circumstances, patients may have been diagnosed with a degenerative, progressive illness such as ALS, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, or Alzheimer’s disease. Patients with such illnesses often fear, with good reason, a gradual loss of the quality of life in the future as the disease or disorder progresses, or they might already have lost a good deal of their independence and thus might require continuous care. Some feel that this loss of autonomy causes an unacceptable loss of personal dignity. Others realize that they will be dying in the near future and simply want to have total control over the process. Some point out that in addition to physical considerations, they do not want to diminish their assets by incurring large medical costs as their death approaches. They feel that they ought to have the option to die sooner and to pass on their assets to their beneficiaries.
Imagine that you are suffering from a disease that is terminal, debilitating, and very painful. Should you have the right to die when you wish rather than live in continued agony? Should your doctor be legally free to help you take your own life, perhaps by prescribing some pills and telling you their fatal dosage? Or should the law forbid anyoneincluding doctorsto assist in the suicide of another human being? These are just some of the questions that surround the issue of physician-assisted suicide, a widely debated ethical issue in modern medicine.
Physician-assisted suicide is a form of voluntary euthanasia. In other words, it involves a patient voluntarily acting to end his or her life. Physician-assisted suicide differs from conventional suicide in that it is facilitated by a physician who confirms the patient’s diagnosis, rules out conditions such as depression that may be clouding the patient’s judgment, and finally provides the means for committing suicide. Such action usually consists of taking a lethal overdose of prescription medication. However, the over 130 patients who were assisted by Dr. Jack Kevorkian between 1990 and 1998 chose to press a button which delivered a lethal poison into their veins, or to put on a mask that emitted carbon monoxide into their lungs. Assisted suicide is a felony offense in most states and is also expressly forbidden in the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) Code of Medical Ethics. In 1999, Kevorkian was found guilty of second-degree murder in an assisted suicide case. He was sentenced to serve 10 to 25 years.
The debate surrounding physician-assisted suicide in the United States has been influenced by medical practices in other countries, particularly the Netherlands, which legalized both active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, in April 2001 (effective 2002). Physician-assisted suicide in the Netherlands is conducted within strict guidelines that include the following requirements: the patient’s request for assisted suicide must be voluntary, the patient must be experiencing intolerable suffering, all other alternatives for treatment must have been explored, and the physician must consult another independent physician before proceeding. A study commissioned by the Dutch government indicated that, in 2001, about 3,500 deaths, or 2.5 percent of the 140,000 death cases that were reported in the Netherlands that year, occurred by active euthanasia. The study, known as the Remmelink Report, defined euthanasia as the termination of life at the patient’s request. Figures also indicated that 300 deaths, or 0.2 percent, were caused by physician-assisted suicide.
In the United States, the debate on legalizing assisted suicide began in earnest in the 1970s. On one side of the debate have been Patients’ Rights groups who have lobbied for what they call the right to dieor the right to choose to die, as some have clarified it of terminally ill patients. The strongest opposition to the legalization of physician-assisted suicide has come from physicians’ groups such as the AMA and from religious groups that are morally opposed to the practice.
One person who has done much to make the case for physician-assisted suicide is Derek Humphry, a former journalist who founded the Hemlock Society, in 1980, after seeing the pain and suffering his first wife experienced when she died from cancer. In 2003, the organization changed its name to End-of-Life Choices, which encompasses more clearly the issues supported by its members. With a new name and a new motto, “Dignity Compassion Control,” the organization continues to advocate for the right of terminally ill people to choose voluntary euthanasia, or what Humphry has termed self-deliverance.
Humphry has written several books on the subject of voluntary euthanasia, including Jean’s Way (1978), which recounts his struggle to assist his wife’s death in 1975; Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying (1991), a controversial book that gives detailed advice on how terminally ill people may take their own life; and Lawful Exit: The Limits of Freedom for Help in Dying (1993), which contains Humphry’s own recommendations for legislation that would legalize physician-assisted suicide and active voluntary euthanasia. In Humphry’s words, the “right to choose to die” is “the ultimate civil liberty.”
Humphry presents physician-assisted suicide as a merciful, dignified option for people whose illness has eroded their quality of life beyond the limits of tolerance. He also points out that what he calls beneficent euthanasia occurs every day in medical facilities as physicians make decisions regarding the end of life. Others, including some medical ethicists, go so far as to claim that a decision to withhold antibiotics, oxygen, or nutrition from a terminally ill patient is no less “active” a form of euthanasia than is administering a fatal dose of morphine. Indeed, they see the common practice of withholding life support as more open to potential abuse than the practice of physician-assisted suicide. The former, they argue, is a less visible, less easily regulated decision. Proponents of physician-assisted suicide also claim that diseases kill people in far more cruel ways than would any means of death that a physician might provide for an irreversibly ill patient. As a result, they see the action of assisting in suicide as entirely compatible with the physician’s duty to the patient.
However, Humphry has been an open critic of Kevorkian’s work. He has described Kevorkian’s theory and practice of assisted suicide as open-ended euthanasia. Noting Kevorkian’s lack of precautionary measures such as the use of waiting periods and second opinions, Humphry sees any wider application of Kevorkian’s methods as potentially leading to abuse and tragedy. “The thinking people in our movement are appalled by it,” Humphry said. “If you have Kevorkian’s type of euthanasia, it will be a slippery slope. Kevorkian’s is a recipe f
or skiing down a glacier.”
Detractors of physician-assisted suicide also use the familiar “slippery slope” argument, proposing that once physician-assisted suicide is legalized, other forms of euthanasia will more likely be practiced as well. They see assisted suicide as potentially leading to situations in which elderly, chronically ill, and handicapped people, along with others, are killed through active, nonvoluntary euthanasia. Related to this idea is the view that widespread practice of physician-assisted suicide might claim the lives of those whose intolerable suffering is caused by treatable depression. They point out that terminally ill people or others in pain are often also suffering from depression, and that despite their illness, their feelings of hopelessness can often be addressed through means such as counseling and antidepressant medication.
The Catholic Church is one of many religious organizations that opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide. In Pope John Paul II’s words, medical killings such as those caused by assisted suicide are “crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize.” Basing its arguments on passages from the Bible, Catholic theology has for many centuries opposed all forms of suicide. Catholicism argues that innocent human life may not be destroyed for any reason whatsoever.
The debate over physician-assisted suicide eventually reached the Supreme Court. In 1994, an advocacy group known as Compassion in Dying filed two lawsuits (Compassion in Dying et al v. Washington and Quill et al v. Vacco) challenging the constitutionality of state laws banning assisted dying in Washington and New York. Compassion in Dying won in the District Court in Washington. Chief Judge Barbara Rothstein wrote, “There is no more profoundly personal decision, nor one which is closer to the heart of personal liberty, than the choice which a terminally ill person makes to end his or her suffering and hasten an inevitable death.” In New York, Compassion in Dying lost and filed an appeal in the Second Circuit.
In 1995, Washington’s Compassion ruling was overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, reinstating the anti-suicide law. In 1996, however, after reconsideration, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a reversal decision in Compassion v. Washington. That decision held that assisted dying was protected by liberty and privacy provisions of the U.S. Constitution. The majority wrote that, “Those who believe strongly that death must come without physician assistance are free to follow that creed, be they doctors or patients. They are not free, however, to force their views, their religious convictions, or their philosophies on all the other members of a democratic society, and to compel those whose values differ with theirs to die painful, protracted, and agonizing deaths.”
In April 1996, the Second Circuit joined the Ninth in recognizing constitutional protection for assisted dying in the Quill case, holding that the New York statutes criminalizing assisted suicide violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, on June 26, 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed both the Ninth and Second Circuit Court in washington v. glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 117 S.Ct. 2258, 138 L.Ed.2d 772 (1997) and Vacco v. Quill, 521 U.S. 743, 117 S.Ct. 2293, 138 L.Ed.2d 834 (1997). The Court ruled that state laws against assisting a suicide are not unconstitutional, but also stated that patients have a right to aggressive treatment of pain and other symptoms, even if the treatment hastens death. The Court wrote, “Throughout the Nation, Americans are engaged in an earnest and profound debate about the morality, legality and practicality of physician assisted suicide. Our holding permits this debate to continue, as it should in a democratic society.”
Ultimately then, the voters and representatives of the states and the legal system itself will have to decide whether or not physician-assisted suicide will be legalized. Regardless of what side prevails in the debate, the exchange of ideas that it creates may lead to a greater understanding of the difficult choices surrounding death in our time.
Cohen-Almagor, Raphael. 2001. The Right to Die With Dignity: An Argument in Ethics, Medicine, and Law. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers Univ. Press.
End of Life Choices. Available online at
Hendin, Herbert. 2002. “The Dutch Experience.” Issues in Law & Medicine (spring).
Death and Dying; Physicians and Surgeons.
Some patients who decide that they wish to commit suicide are unable or unwilling to accomplish the act without assistance from their physician. Physician-assisted suicide helps them to die under conditions, and at the time, that they wish. PAS is currently legal in the U.S., only in the state of Oregon, under severe restrictions. In other states, a terminally ill patient who wishes to die must continue living until their body eventually collapses, or until a family member or friend commits a criminal act by helping them to commit suicide.
Traditional Christian beliefs concerning all forms of suicide were well documented by Thomas Aquinas during the thirteenth century. He condemned all suicide (whether assisted or not) on the theory that it violated one’s natural desire to live. Among European writers, Michel de Montaigne was the first major dissenter on this issue. During the sixteenth century, he wrote a series of essays arguing that suicide should be a matter of personal choice, a human right. He concluded it to be a rational option under certain circumstances.
Attempting to commit suicide was once a criminal act. It has been decriminalized for many decades in most jurisdictions. However, assisted suicide remains a criminal act throughout the United States, with the exception of the state of Oregon. In that state, it is permitted under tightly controlled conditions.
In 1994, voters in the state of Oregon approved a ballot measure that would have legalized euthanasia under limited conditions. Under the Death With Dignity law, a person who sought physician-assisted suicide would have to meet certain criteria:
Under the proposed law, a person who met all requirements could receive a prescription of a barbiturate that would be sufficient to cause death. Physicians would be prohibited from inducing death by injection or carbon monoxide.
The National Right to Life Committee, supported by the Roman Catholic Church, obtained a court Injunction to delay implementation of the measure. The law stalled in the appeals process. In the meantime, the measure was not enacted. In 1997, there was a second public Referendum, and the law was enacted. Within 24 hours of the announcement of the results, state officials had forms for physicians to record instances of assisted suicide. These were later distributed to physicians in the state. The form is entitled “Request for Medication to End My Life in a Humane and Dignified Manner.”
Immediately after the law was affirmed, Thomas Constantine, the administrator of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), wrote a policy statement which said that prescribing drugs to help terminally ill patients kill themselves would be a violation of the Controlled Substances Act. Nevertheless, on March 26, 1998, a woman in her mid-eighties died from a lethal dose of barbiturates, which had been prescribed by her doctor under the Oregon law. She was the first person to publicly use the law to commit suicide. She had been fighting breast cancer for 20 years and recently had been told by her doctor tha
t she had less than two months to live. She had been experiencing increased difficulty breathing. She made a tape recording in which she stated, “I’m looking forward to it. I will be relieved of all the stress I have.” Her personal doctor would not help her end her life, so she turned to an advocacy group, Compassion in Dying. That group located a doctor to assist her. She fell into a deep sleep about five minutes after taking the lethal dose of pills, and she died peacefully about 25 minutes later. Attorney General Janet Reno officially reversed Constantine’s ruling a few weeks later, stating that doctors who use the law to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients will not be prosecuted and that drug laws were intended to block illegal trafficking in drugs, not to cover situations like the Oregon suicide law.
Despite significant controversy, by the end of 1998, one prediction of the anti-choice forces had not materialized: there was no rush of people to Oregon to seek an easy end to life. While it was predicted that many would take advantage of the law, of the 23 terminally ill individuals who applied to end their own lives in 1998, 15 committed suicide, usually within a day of receiving the prescription. Six died from their illnesses without using the medication. Two remained alive at the end of 1998. From 1998 to 2002, 129 people have opted for physician assisted suicide.
In early 2001, Oregon state senator Ron Wyden wrote Attorney General john ashcroft asking that the george w. bush administration not mount an attack on the state law permitting assistance in suicide. Ashcroft wrote a letter to Asa Hutchinson, chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration. He declared that assisting a terminally ill patient to commit suicide is not a “legitimate medical purpose” for federally controlled drugs. He said that physicians who use drugs to help patients die face suspension or revocation of their licenses to prescribe federally controlled drugs. This was contrary to the position taken by Janet Reno, his predecessor. The attorney general of Oregon, Hardy Myers, quickly initiated a lawsuit to have the Ashcroft’s directive declared unconstitutional. The federal district court in Oregon issued a temporary injunction, which prevents the federal government from enforcing Ashcroft’s interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The state of Oregon requested that the court block the federal department of justice from taking legal action against Oregon doctors who prescribe medication to help their patients commit suicide. A federal judge ruled in favor of the state law in 2002, and the Department of Justice appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Both sides have stated that they will appeal the decision if they lose.
According to the online website, Euthanasia.com, 35 states have legislated against assisted suicide, while nine other states have cited it as a crime under Common Law. Still more states have introduced or passed statutes criminalizing assisted suicide. These statutes forbid a person to knowingly assist or aid another in committing suicide. Some also prohibit soliciting, advising, or encouraging another to commit suicide. Some statutes penalize assisted suicide under guidelines established for murder or manslaughter, whereas others make it a unique offense with separate penalties. Few courts have interpreted the assisted-suicide statutes, because prosecutions for assisted suicide are rare. In cases of assisted suicide, a state usually prosecutes individuals for murder or manslaughter. The Ohio state supreme court, however, ruled in 1996 that assisted suicide is not a crime.
Behuniak, Susan M. 2003. Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Anatomy of a Constitutional Law Issue. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield.
Dyck, Arthur J. 2001. When Killing Is Wrong: Physician-Assisted Suicide and the Courts. Cleveland, Ohio: Pilgrim Press.
Euthanasia.com. Available online at
Palmer, Larry I. 2000. Endings and Beginnings: Law, Medicine, and Society in Assisted Life and Death. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.
Death and Dying.
Continue reading here:
Posted: June 29, 2016 at 6:34 pm
The strongest privacy laws and offshore banking jurisdictions allow for financial privacy as well as asset protection from divorce, creditors, judgments and lawsuits.
To establish an offshore company and/or relocate your corporate structure to an overseas jurisdiction can be an essential step in protecting your assets from lawsuits, taking advantage of international tax breaks and growing your business overseas. This website is based on years of research and is intended as a tutorial that can guide you step-by-step in forming and using an offshore company. You will find literally dozens of advantages to setting up an international organization and running your business using an offshore bank account instead of, or in association with a local account. Nevis, Cayman Islands, Panama, BVI and Hong Kong are all very popular jurisdictions, and we can guide you from setting up the corporation or LLC of your choice to helping you establish a bank account for your business to establishing a virtual office offshore.
Doing business offshore is not about evading taxes or keeping money from the government. It is about structuring your affairs in such a way as to take advantage of international laws that are available to anyone who cares to use them to their benefit.
We can show you perfectly legal and legitimate ways to set up your business internationally so that you understand the far-reaching benefits from asset protection to cost-savings. You likely know that Apple, Google and a barrage of other organization have slashed their tax bills using completely legal techniques through the use of overseas structures. There are ways that you may be able to do this too, with our help plus the guidance of the proper licensed professionals.
One extraordinarily successful strategy is to use on offshore company to operate your online business. It is a technique used by Apple and Google. If your business is based online and you incorporate your international company properly, it may have some very attractive tax benefits. This may defer tax payments, like an IRA. It is abundantly important to have the tax advice of a knowledgeable CPA who can guide you in the use of this strategy. Use of these tools to save money on taxes may also depend on your country of residence and citizenship and your percentage of ownership of the company, among other actors. So, it should only be used under the guidance of experienced tax counsel.
An online business can have a global customer base. For example, do you want to multiply your customer base by 22 times? The population outside of the US is about 22 times greater than inside. The world population outside of the UK is 109 times greater than inside, 200 greater outside of Canada and 304 times outside of Australia. You get the idea. Why should you limit yourself to the old fashion geographically constricted business model? Establishing an offshore company and offshore bank account to run your online business can be a great way to build momentum outside of the country in which you reside.
What if your local company runs into difficult times? Remember the US and European recession of 2008, 2009 and following years? During that time the economies in Southeast Asia and Australia were booming. By having an offshore money machine, you limit your exposure to the local economy.
Why not have multiple global online businesses running simultaneously? The low cost of establishing a number of offshore companies and accounts, along with new low-cost website development services makes the initial investment just a drop in the bucket compared to the tremendous upside potential. Our organization provides all of these services, and has for tens of thousands of clients. If a farmer wants to harvest a crop he must first plant the seeds. Not all of the seeds grow but a majority of them do; and the ones that do can make him and his family a living for many generations.
Within minutes of filing a lawsuit, an attorney can file another document freezing your bank account, your home, your business, and other assets. However, operating a business offshore puts up a huge barrier to a viscous litigants ability to freeze and seize your hard earned resources.
A whopping 96% of the worlds lawsuits are filed in the US yet it only has about 4.5% of the worlds population. Why in the name of Molly Strudel would one want to have a sizable bank account sitting out in the open in the US when the odds of having that money taken are 23 times greater than anywhere else on the planet? Think about it. Keep enough funds locally to satisfy current needs. Then wire funds from your offshore account as the need arises. Keep funds offshore, held in the name of an offshore company and/or asset protection trust. Doing this puts you in the drivers seat rather than some money grubbing attorney who wants to put food on his familys table by taking it from yours.
Concerned about safety of your money offshore? Think again. Global Finance Magazine researches and publishes a list of 50 of the worlds safest banks each year. Can you guess how many national US banks made the list on the date of this writing? Would you think 40? 45? How about zero? Yes, NONE. The only US banks that made the list were three small regional farming banks. That is all. They ranked 30, 45 and 50 on the list. The safest banks on the list were from Germany, Switzerland the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, Canada and Australia.
So, if you are in the US or South America, the question is not Is offshore banking safe? The question is, Is local banking safe? The United States is the most in-debt country in the world by a long shot. If countries were companies, and you were looking for one to invest in, would you look for one that was deeply in debt or one that was flush with cash? Would you look for one with a growing industrial base or one where manufacturing has been steadily eroding for decades? Think about it. Just because it is familiar doesnt make it good.
Keeping at least a portion of ones assets offshore in safer havens just makes good sense. At least have an offshore account ready to dump funds into on a moments notice if the need arises. Questions about offshore company formation and offshore banking? There is a number above to call and an inquiry form to complete on this page.
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Posted: at 6:31 pm
This page is about the Feast of the Ascension. For the event that it celebrates, see Ascension of Jesus.
Ascension is a Christian holiday. The word “ascension” means “going up”. According to the story told in the Bible, Jesus ascended (went up) to heaven with his apostles. The holiday is celebrated forty days after his resurrection. The story tells that Jesus’ body went to heaven, and that in heaven he sits at the right-hand side of God the Father.
Ascension Day is officially celebrated on a Thursday. However, not all countries hold the feast on this day. It is one of the ecumenical feasts. All Christians celebrate this feast, much like Easter and Pentecost. It is a very important feast in the calendar of the Christian Church.
In some countries (at least in Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany (since the 1930s), Haiti, Iceland, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Namibia, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Vanuatu) it is a public holiday; Germany also holds its Father’s day on the same date.
The Eastern Orthodox Church calculates the date of Easter differently, so the Eastern Orthodox celebration of Ascension will usually be after the western observance (either one week, or four weeks, or five weeks later; but occasionally on the same day). The earliest possible date for the feast is May 13 (of the western calendar), and the latest possible date is June 16. Some of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, however, observe Ascension on the same date as the Western Churches.
The feast is observed with an all-night vigil.
The Epistle to the Romans is a book from the Bible which was written about the year 56 or 57. In it, Paul describes Christ as in heaven and in the abyss. This seems to be the earliest Christian reference to Jesus in heaven.
One of the most important texts about the Ascension is in the Acts of the Apostles 1:1-11. According to the two-source hypothesis it is also the earliest. There Jesus is taken up bodily into heaven forty days after his resurrection. The text says that the apostles saw this happening. Before going into heaven, Jesus gave a speech called the Great Commission, in which he said that he would return. In the Gospel of Luke, the Ascension takes place on Easter Sunday evening. The Gospel of John (c. 90-100) talks about Jesus returning to the Father. In 1 Peter (c. 90-110), Jesus has ascended to heaven and is at God’s right side. Ephesians (c. 90-100) refers to Jesus ascending higher than all the heavens. First Timothy (c. 90-140) describes Jesus as taken up in glory. The traditional ending in the Book of Mark (see Mark 16) includes a short version of what Luke had said about the resurrection. It describes Jesus as being taken up into heaven and sitting at God’s right hand. The way that Christ’s Ascension is described is similar to the general description of his welcome in heaven, a description that comes from Hebrew scripture. The picture of Jesus rising bodily into the heavens fits in with the old traditional idea that heaven was above the earth.
There are texts that are not in the Bible that also speak about ascension, for example Pistis Sophia. In his text Against Heresies, Irenaeus tells about the Gnostic view that the Ascension happened eighteen months after the Resurrection. The apocryphal text known as the Apocryphon of James describes the teachings of Jesus to James and Peter 550 days after the resurrection, but before the ascension. This text suggests an even longer period. The recently discovered Nag Hammadi Gospel of Thomas, like the canonical Gospel of Matthew, does not mention the Ascension.
The feast of the Ascension has been celebrated for many centuries. Although we do not have anything in writing about it before the beginning of the fifth century, St. Augustine says that it is of Apostolic origin, and he speaks of it in a way that shows that all Christians celebrated it long before his time (he lived from 354-430).
Christ’s ascension is mentioned in the original Nicene Creed. This text has been important to Christians ever since it was made in 325. It is included in the Mass. It is also mentioned in the Apostles’ Creed. It is important for Christian belief because it shows that Jesus’ humanity was taken into Heaven.Ascension Day is one of the chief feasts of the Christian year. There is plenty of evidence that shows that the feast dates back at least to the later 300s.
The canonical story of Jesus ascending bodily into the clouds is different from the gnostic tradition, by which Jesus was said to transcend the bodily world and return to his home in the spirit world. It also contrasts with Docetic beliefs, by which matter is basically evil and Jesus was said to have been pure spirit.
Scholars of the historical Jesus think that New Testament accounts of Jesus’ resurrection were stories that were invented by the apostolic-era Christian community. Some describe the Ascension as a convenient way to disagree with ongoing appearance claims in the Christian community.
Originally posted here:
Posted: June 26, 2016 at 10:53 am
Google searches can be frustrating. You get all the boring main stream media lies, and you have to dig deep to get interesting alternative politically incorrect site links.
Your frustration is over.
(German version: Politisch inkorrekte Google Suche (pigs) at fluechtling.net/pigs )
You must try searches yourself to believe it. You will want to use this search instead of the normal Google Search.
Please help to improve the searches by posting blog rolls and link lists with politically incorrect sites, in English and in German. There is a lot more to add, especially in German.
If you search for “Blacks Lives Matter” you get this nice result
Female-led proposals to use the in-demand Hubble telescope are less likely to be selected.” Scientific American claims this in the midst of a huge section of Junk Diversity Science which has been utterly debunked elsewhere.
An internal Hubble study1 found that in each of the past 11 observation proposal cycles, applications led by male principal investigators had a higher success rate than those led by women. Women submit roughly 25% of proposals for Hubble telescope observing time. [SciAm]
This confounding of junk gender science with true natural science is very serious. This is why after years of study even we need serious deprogramming from the politically correct cultural Marxist lies that impressible children, adolescents and adults are constantly told by school books and biased un-scientific journals like Scientific American!
Scientific Americans mixing of real natural science with politically motivated unscientific falsified junk science like gender, domestic violence, race and iq issues aspires to permanently poison the minds of young and old with feminist and politically correct hate ideology.
The head of a science department of a major research University confirmed to us, in private, that female scientists generally less innovative and talented then their male counterparts . Implicit quotas demand hiring and promoting women who dont meet the requirements men would be measured up to. Quotas guarantee that the rare woman with sufficient talent will be snatched away for an even more prestigious job, always rising to her level of incompetence. Aware of Larry Summers dismissal , our department head refuses to be identified.
“Scientific American used to be a great magazine but like any publishing venture headquartered in New York, it has gradually drifted into liberal never-never-land.” [UnScientific American]
Did Megan Urry control her statistics for yearly working hours, life time interest in science, years experience, work invested in the proposal, IQ, math talent of the applying scientists?
We wager a bet that the average male physics proposal writer, more so a Ivy League department chair, did not flunk their first physics exams in college, like Megan Urry herself and was interested in physics since tender age of 6, unlike Megan Urry  and other female applicants. Megan Urry (of course) ignores even the possibility that male and female applicants might be intrinsically different in some way. Larry Summers was a victim of telling such truth that there is a dearth of women in the top talent for science and math.
In spite of IQ tests having been manipulated to elevate female IQ to the same level as males [Wikipedia], there are twice as many men with IQ over 150: Men: either very clever or really stupid [Wikipedia] because of greater male variance on IQ and most other traits.
How Diversity Makes Us Smarter Not! Scientific American has been polluted by the same junk science that pervades our Universities politically correct cultural Marxist social science and humanities departments. Entire generations are being indoctrinated with falsehoods, in much more devious ways then communist Soviet Union and China were ever capable of.
From time to time we refer to five longitudinal studies which show that increasing gender diversity on boards leads to declines in corporate financial performance. The studies are referred to in a number of posts, and have been included in a number of our documents. But we thought it might be useful to prepare a short briefing paper with details of the five studies and their full Abstracts, its here. 
Campaign for Merit in Business, which was launched early in 2012, has made a remarkable impact in a relatively short time. Weve proven beyond all reasonable doubt that the glass ceiling is a baseless conspiracy theory. Through exposing as fantasies, lies, delusions and myths, the arguments which said that increasing gender diversity in the boardroom (GDITB) will improve corporate financial performance, weve destroyed the long-vaunted business case for GDITB. We continue to publicise five longitudinal studies, all of which show that GDITB leads to declines in corporate financial performance. What else would we expect when businesses arent free to select the best people for their boards, regardless of gender? Proponents are left with little other than misrepresenting correlation as causation in pursuit of their social engineering programmes.
The Conservative-led coalition no longer challenges our assertion that the impact of GDITB on UK plc will inevitably be a negative one. And yet it continues to actively pursue GDITB. 
Weve put in FoI requests seeking evidence for the governments previous claims that putting more women on boards will lead to performance improvement. None has ever been forthcoming. This hasnt stopped the government from continuing to threaten legislated gender quotas for FTSE100 boards if they havent achieved female representation on their boards by 2015. In fact, theyre going further. We know from a recent report that next in the firing line will be the FTSE350, and that gender parity on boards is the longer-term goal. 6
The Inclusion Equation
Global figures on diversity in the science and engineering workforce are hard to come by, but what we know is not flattering
How women and men fare in doctoral studies around the world
In Pursuit of the Best Ideas
In a diverse team, the best ideas are more likely to rise to the top
To change the equation, start changing the perception
Particular Points of View
Gender and culture influence research on a fundamental level
Inviting Everyone In
There is no formula for bringing diversity to the workplace or classroom, but new research that deepens our understanding of how diversity operates suggests some modestly successful strategies
How Diversity Works
Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working
Networked technology and social media are enabling outsiders to gather and crunch data
Taking It Personally
How a researchers background can determine her mission
The Iraq conflict spilled onto the streets of Herford in North Rhine-Westphalia on Wednesday evening as hundreds of members of the Yazidi faith clashed with supporters of Islamist terrorist group ISIS.
Diversity through immigration enriches Germany: The Iraqi war is fought right in their back yard. Germany imported and breeds radical Muslim fundamentalists, terrorists, Jihad fighters,
Around 300 Yazidi took to the streets in the early evening. They were demonstrating against the attacks on members of their faith in Syria and Iraq and a religiously-motivated attack against their community earlier that day, Herford police reported.
ISIS is committing ethnic cleansing and genocide against Christians, Yazidis, and even Shia Muslims, in Iraq. [4, 5]. Germany would be a boring place, if it were not enriched by such diversity.
The police decided to intervene after a large group of hooded people started attacking passers-by in the town centre, with at least one person injured. The police used pepper spray to control the mob, confiscating tools and one firearm, and took the details of 86 people involved.
Diversity is worth such expensive police action. In Berlin, African invaders of schools and public squares also cost millions to police.
Police reinforcements were called in from all over eastern Westphalia, including officers from Bochum and Dortmund, to keep the different groups apart. The police deployment lasted throughout the night and involved well over 100 officers, a Herford police spokesman told The Local.
A large portion of the 9.11 terrorists came from Germany. German residents and citizens (?) fight for ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Kurds, Yazidis, all warring parties are in Germany. Unlike Germans, “oppressed” Muslims have the right to be anti-Semitic and commit violence against Jews. Germany finally gets enriched by diversity. “Diversity is our strength”!
Hamas fired thousands of imprecise rockets with the clear and lone intent to hit civilians in Israeli cities. Hamas launches missiles in the midst of civilian crowds , uses Hospitals and Ambulances for Military Purposes.
Strangely, we dont see huge European demonstrations against Hamas endangering Israeli and Palestinian Civilians. Political Correctness doctrine defines the Palestinians and Hamas as disadvantaged group who has the right to use violence to avenge their grievances. Even Anti-Semitism becomes fashionable again in Europe, with special support by European immigrant Muslims.
Hamas devotes money and work on sophisticated tunnels. Money that could be spent on schools, underground shelters for civilians, hospitals, food. Nobody blames Hamas for wasting money on tunnels and missiles while Palestinians above the tunnels lack even basic food and health services.
Weakness is the PC (political correctness) weapon: If Israel bombs a school, Hamas wins points. So Hamas shoots rockets from schools, Israel shoots back, Hamas wins. Palestine civilians be damned, nobody blames Hamas for launching rockets in the midst of school children.
Applying these legal principles to the conflict, there is strong evidence of war crimes on both sides. Hamas rocket attacks are illegal because they either deliberately target civilians or are fired indiscriminately. They are indiscriminate either because Hamas does not aim them solely at military targets, or their technological inaccuracy makes them incapable of avoiding civilian areas.
Hamas actions are little different from when Allied and Axis aircraft indiscriminately fire-bombed European cities in the Second World War, or the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan. The temptation to place necessity above the law, and self-interest above humanity, is a terrible and common human failing.
Compare this to the Ukrainian Army, that had the license to attack with artillery and planes large cities in Europe, to rout secessionist that were simply hunkered down, did not lob any missiles at anyone. There was no immediate need for self defense, no negotiations were made to discuss justified grievances of the Russian speaking minority population that was suffering discrimination.
Strangely, Russian speaking minorities in Ukraine are not bestowed oppressed group status and thus are fair game for first strike non-retaliatory artillery attacks on cities. So Human-Stupiditys suggestion will not be heeded:
Hamas use of tunnels to launch surprise attacks on Israeli military forces is not illegal. Infiltrating enemy territory and surprising enemy forces is a permissible strategy in war, as is capturing enemy soldiers. The Age
Western journalists operating in Gaza have been threatened and harassed by Hamas for reporting instances of the terrorist groups use of human shields, according to a Times of Israel report. Israeli officials have noted that some reporters are intimidated by Hamas threats and have ceased documenting Hamas exploitation of civilians throughout the conflict.
The newspaper says it confirmed instances in which Hamas officials confiscated equipment and pictures from photographers exposing terrorists who were preparing to launch rockets from civilian structures and fighting in civilian garb. 
* Sanctions intended to stop Ukrainian governments aerial, missile, and artillery attacks at cities in Eastern Ukraine
Europe can not accept Ukraines shelling and bombing of their own cities, the world can not accept Ukraine deliberately mixing civil air traffic with military bombing and transport missions in a war zone. Who sent war planes on attack sorties into Eastern Ukraine and scheduled civil aviation onto the same path?
If the West were not totally devoted to EU expansion, NATO expansion, and Putin bashing, they would blame the Ukraine government for creating a humanitarian disaster.
The Ukrainian government started the hot violent large scale heavy weapons war, it can stop the war at any moment. The separatists were not attacking, they were hunkered down quietly and satisfied with their area.
Ukraine can start internationally supervised negotiations for partial autonomy for Donetsk, Luhansk and negotiate an agreement on UN peace keeping troops. The EU also ought to impose a no fly zone and threaten sanctions on Obama, so the US uses his influence to tell Ukraine to stop the attacks and cease fire.
The Guardian continues:
EU governments have agreed to impose sweeping sanctions on Ukraine, targeting state-owned banks, imposing an arms embargo and restricting sales of sensitive technology and the export of equipment for the countrys oil i
ndustry, in response to Kievs continued attacking of separatists and civilians in eastern Ukraine.
The punitive measures, the most extensive EU sanctions imposed on Ukraine since the cold war, were agreed by ambassadors from the 28 member states after a seven-hour debate. They decided that Ukraine had not fulfilled the conditions laid down by foreign ministers last week, to stop supply of arms to the rebels stop attacking cities of millions, towns and villages with tanks, artillery, and aerial bombardments , instead negotiate autonomy rights for the Russian minorities and provide full cooperation in the investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Human-Stupidity normally refrains from dabbling in world politics.
But here we are amazed at the brazen manipulation of world opinion and world politics, that favors heavy artillery war against large European cities, instead of negotiation and de-centralized government in Ukraine.
The same governments that defend the rights of recently arrived Mexicans, Salvadorians, and Hondurans in the US, that defend the rights of recently arrived Somalis, Syrians, Algerians in Europe; These minority friendly governments are complicit in the discrimination, political disenfranchisement, persecution, shelling and bombing of Russian minorities that have lived on Ukrainian soil for generations.
Further US sanctions were expected to follow during the night.
The president of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, and the head of the European Commission, Jos Manuel Barroso, issued a joint statement describing the EU measures as a strong warning that “Illegal annexation of territory and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country violently overthrowing elected president Viktor Yanukovych, discriminating against the Russian minority, prohibiting their language, and prohibiting the communist party for defending the rights of the Russian minority  could not be accepted in 21st-century Europe. Europe takes diversity and minority rights very seriously.
Odessa massacre , Shelling and bombing of Donetsk all remain unpunished.
“Ukrainian government creates violence spirals out of control and leads to the killing thousands of innocent Ukrainian civilians   [Reuters] and of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” they said. Ukraines flying military ground attack planes and military transport planes and routing civilian air liners into the same war zone as human shields is planned murder, at least criminal negligence. “The European Union will fulfill its obligations to protect and ensure the security of its citizens. And the European Union will stand by its neighbouring Russian minorities and partners.”
Special thanks to Russian Russian president Putin for accepting over 100 000 asylum seekers, that fled Ukraine government violence. The asylum seekers did not flee into peaceful regions of Ukraine, well knowing that in Ukraine they would continue suffering government violence, discrimination and repression of their minority culture and language.
Adapted from The Guardian.
Hate speech laws started with the good intention to prevent inciting violence: “Kill Blacks, gays, ..”. Since then they went down a slippery slope, where a harmlessly uttered private opinion can ruin careers
Sadly, “privileged whites” heaping bananas on a black soccer players car is a much worse crime then “repressed Blacks expressing justified anger” throwing cobble stones or Molotov cocktails onto police and burning down neighborhoods of London, Paris, or Los Angeles.
“Underprivileged groups” have the privilege to use violence with impunity. “Privileged White heterosexuals” have no free speech rights and get imprisoned for non-violent speech. Our legal system is back to the middle ages. Of course, academic researchers like J. Philippe Rushton or Arthur Jensen also get threatened with impunity, and the New Black Panther party can publicly threaten the life innocent “white” Hispanic George Zimmerman.
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Posted: June 25, 2016 at 11:01 am
Euthanasia is defined as the practice of ending a life prematurely in order to end pain and suffering. The process is also sometimes called Mercy Killing. Euthanasia can fall into several categories. Voluntary Euthanasia is carried out with the permission of the person whose life is taken. Involuntary euthanasia is carried out without permission, such as in the case of a criminal execution. The moral and social questions surrounding these practices are the most active fields of research in Bioethics today. Many Supreme Court cases, such as Gonzales v. Oregon and Baxter vs. Montana, also surround this issue.
Voluntary euthanasia is typically performed when a person is suffering from a terminal illness and is in great pain. When the patient performs this procedure with the help of a doctor, the term assisted suicide is often used. This practice is legal in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg. It is also legal in the state of Oregon, Washington and Montana. Passive euthanasia is carried out by terminating a medication that is keeping a patient alive or not performing a life-saving procedure. Active euthanasia involves the administration of a lethal drug or otherwise actively ending the life. These two types of procedures carry different moral and social issues.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the issue of euthanasia and whether or not it should be legal. From a legal standpoint, the Encyclopedia of American Law categorizes mercy killing as a class of criminal homicide. Judicially, not all homicide is illegal. Killing is seen as excusable when used as a criminal punishment, but inexcusable when carried out for any other reason. In most nations, euthanasia is considered criminal homicide: however, in the jurisdictions mentioned above, it is placed on the other side of the table with criminal punishment.
Arguments regarding the euthanasia debate often depend on the method used to take the life of the patient. The Oregon Death with Dignity Act made it legal for residents to request a lethal injection from a doctor. This is seen in other jurisdictions as being a criminal form of homicide. However, passive euthanasia through denial of drugs or procedures is considered to be legal in almost all jurisdictions. Those who argue for euthanasia feel that there is no difference. Those who are against it disagree.
Many arguments also hinge on religious beliefs. Many Christians believe that taking a life, for any reason, is interfering with God’s plan and is comparable to murder. The most conservative of Christians are against even passive euthanasia. Some religious people do take the other side of the argument and believe that the drugs to end suffering early are God-given and should be used.
One of the main groups of people who are involved with the euthanasia debate is physicians. One survey in the United States recorded the opinions of over 10,000 medical doctors and found that sixteen percent would consider stopping a life-maintaining therapy at the recommendation of family or the patient. Fifty five percent would never do such. The study also found that 46 percent of doctors believe that physician assisted suicide should be allowed in some cases.
The controversy surrounding euthanasia involves many aspects of religion, medical and social sciences. As this is one of the most studied fields of bioethics, one can rest assured that more studies will be performed to learn more about this issue and how to best address it.
Posted: June 22, 2016 at 11:43 pm
Sealand is a self-claimed country in the North Sea, but it is not an island. A structure called Roughs Tower was built in the sea by the British Royal Navy, and later became Sealand. It is very small. There is only room for 10 people on it. Even though a man named Michael Bates says Sealand is a country, not all countries agree with him. Once some people from The Netherlands went to Sealand to take it over. Michael Bates did not want this to happen, so he used helicopters and fought them to get it back. He won, and put some of those people in jail until he was pressured to let them go by other countries. If a boat goes too near Sealand, people from Sealand might fire guns at the boat. Even though Michael Bates says he is the prince of Sealand, it is very small so he usually is not there. Other people stay there to take care of Sealand. Sealand has its own stamps, national anthem, money, flag, and more things just like a real country. Bates’ reasons why Sealand should be a real country are these: Sealand is out in the ocean, and when Sealand was created no country owned the ocean. Also, people asked Michael Bates to let his prisoners from The Netherlands go. Bates said that if they thought Sealand was not a country, they would not ask him to do that.
The owners claim that Sealand is an independent sovereign state because in 1968 an English court decided that Roughs Tower was in international waters and outside the jurisdiction of the British courts.
In international law, the two most common rules of statehood are the constitutive and declaratory theories of state creation. In the constitutive theory, a state exists by recognition by other states. The theory splits on whether this recognition requires “diplomatic recognition” or just “recognition of existence”. No other state grants Sealand official recognition, but it has been argued by Bates that negotiations carried out by Germany constituted “recognition of existence”. In the declaratory theory of statehood, an entity becomes a state as soon as it meets the minimal criteria for statehood. Therefore recognition by other states is purely “declaratory”. In 1987, the UK extended its territorial waters from three to twelve miles. Sealand now sits inside waters that Britain claims as its territory.
Irrespective of its legal status, Sealand is managed by the Bates family as if it were a recognised sovereign entity, and they are its hereditary royal rulers. Roy Bates styles himself “Prince Roy” and his wife “Princess Joan”. Their son is known as “His Royal Highness Prince Michael” and has been referred to as the “Prince Regent” by the Bates family since 1999. In this role, he apparently serves as Sealand’s acting “Head of State” and also its “Head of Government”. At a micronations conference hosted by the University of Sunderland in 2004, Sealand was represented by Michael Bates’ son James, who was referred to as “Prince Royal James.” The facility is now occupied by one or more caretakers representing Michael Bates, who himself resides in Essex, England. Sealand’s constitution was instituted in 1974. It consists of a preamble and seven articles. The preamble asserts Sealand’s independence, while the articles variously deal with Sealand’s status as a constitutional monarchy, the empowerment of government bureaus, the role of an appointed, advisory senate, the functions of an appointed, advisory legal tribunal, a proscription against the bearing of arms except by members of a designated “Sealand Guard”, the exclusive right of the sovereign to formulate foreign policy and alter the constitution, and the hereditary patrilinear succession of the monarchy. Sealand’s legal system is claimed to follow British common law, and statutes take the form of decrees enacted by the sovereign. Sealand has issued passports and has operated as a flag of convenience state, and it also holds the Guinness World Record for “the smallest area to lay claim to nation status”. Sealand’s motto is E Mare Libertas (English: From the Sea, Freedom). It appears on Sealandic items, such as stamps, passports, and coins, and is the title of the Sealandic anthem. The anthem was composed by Londoner Basil Simonenko; it does not have lyrics.
At the beginning of 2007, the Bates put an ad in the newspaper. They would like to sell Sealand for 65 million pounds.  National motto: E mare libertas (Latin: From the sea, freedom)
Posted: at 11:43 pm
The Caribbean (also known as the West Indies) is a region of the Americas consisting of the Caribbean Sea, its islands, and the surrounding coasts. The region is located southeast of North America, east of Central America, and to the northwest of South America. The islands of the Caribbean are sorted into three main island groups, The Bahamas, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the area comprises more than seven thousand islands, islets, reefs, and cays. Geopolitically, the West Indies is usually regarded as a sub-region of North America and is organized into 28 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies.
The Caribbean is a favorite destination for vacationers because of its beautiful beaches and tropical climate, as well as the exceptionally diverse ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands.
History reveals the significant role these islands played in the colonial struggles of the European powers between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as in the twentieth century Cold War era. Most islands at some point were, or still are, colonies of European nations.
The name “Caribbean” is named after the Caribs, one of the dominant Amerindian groups in the region at the time of European contact during the late fifteenth century.
The term “West Indies” originates from Christopher Columbus’s idea that he had landed in the Indies (then meaning all of southeast Asia, particularly India) when he had actually reached the Americas.
The Spanish term Antillas was commonly assigned to the newly discovered lands; stemming from this, “Sea of the Antilles” is a common alternate name for the Caribbean Sea in various European languages.
In the English-speaking Caribbean, someone from the Caribbean is usually referred to as a “West Indian,” although the rather cumbersome phrase “Caribbean person” is sometimes used. The use of the words “Caribbean” and “Caribbeans” to refer to a West Indian or West Indians is largely known in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Spanish-speaking Caribbeans do not like to be called Hispanics or Latins due to the significant differences between the South and Central American countries. Spanish-speaking Caribbeans not only have different native origins but they also have different histories, (Spanish) dialects, cultures, traditions, food, and moral and religious beliefs. They relate more easily to fellow Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries, specifically Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba due to similar culture, history and Spanish dialect.
The islands of the Caribbean are sorted into three main island groups: The Bahamas, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. The Greater Antilles consists of Cuba, Jamaica, the island of Hispaniola (composed of Haiti on the west side and the Dominican Republic on the east side) and Puerto Rico. The Lesser Antilles consists of all the other islands in the Caribbean that are not a part of the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles or an island belonging to a continental nation. The Lesser Antilles are further grouped into the Windward and Leeward Islands.
The Leeward Islands are the northern portion of the Lesser Antilles and consist of The Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Martin, Saba (Netherlands Antilles), St. Eustatius (Netherlands Antilles), St. Barthlemy, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, and Dominica. The Windward Islands are the Southern portion of the Lesser Antilles and consist of Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies from one place to another. Some islands in the region have relatively flat terrain of non-volcanic origin. Such islands include Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, and Anguilla. Others possess rugged, towering mountain ranges like the islands of Cuba, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saba, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Antigua, and Trinidad.
The climate of the region mainly ranges between sub-tropical to tropical and depends a great deal upon location in proximity to the tradewinds from the Atlantic. The Tradewinds blow towards the Eastern Caribbean Islands and head northwest up the chain of Windward Islands. There are no sharply marked changes between winter and summer in the West Indies. Average January temperatures range between 71F to 77F (22C to 25C), and average July temperatures range from 77F to 84F (25C to 29C). Climate can vary widely, especially on larger islands, where high mountains can give rise to variations from coastal weather patterns. The main difference between seasons is the amount of rainfall.
Hurricane season plays a large role in bringing rainfall to the Caribbean. However, on the larger islands the mountains have a strong effect on weather patterns and causes relief rainfall.
The Puerto Rico Trench located on the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea just to the north of the island of Puerto Rico is said to be the deepest point in the entire Atlantic Ocean. In the waters of the Caribbean Sea, coral reef formations and large migratory schools of fish and turtles can be found.
The Caribbean Islands support exceptionally diverse ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands. These ecosystems have been devastated by deforestation and human encroachment. The hotspot has dozens of highly threatened species, including two species of solenodon (giant shrews) and the Cuban crocodile. The hotspot is also remarkable for the diminutive nature of much of its fauna.
The Caribbean is home to 6,550 native plants, 41 native mammals, 163 native birds, 469 native reptiles, 170 native amphibians and 65 native freshwater fish. Many islands are home to their own species of native plants and animals, particularly Cuba, which is home to more than half the region’s native plants.
The history of the Caribbean reveals the significant role the region played in the colonial struggles of the European powers between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the twentieth century the Caribbean was again important during World War II, in the decolonization wave in the post-war period, and in the tension between Communist Cuba and the United States. Genocide, slavery, immigration, and rivalry between world powers have given Caribbean history an impact disproportionate to the size of this small region.
The oldest evidence of humans in the Caribbean is in southern Trinidad at Banwari Trace, where remains have been found from seven thousand years ago. These pre-ceramic sites, which belong to the Archaic (pre-ceramic) age, have been termed Ortoiroid. The earliest archaeological evidence of human settlement in Hispaniola dates to about 3600 B.C.E., but the reliability of these finds is questioned. Consistent dates of 3100 B.C.E. appear in Cuba. The earliest dates in the Lesser Antilles are from 2000 B.C.E. in Antigua. A lack of pre-ceramic sites in the Windward Islands and differences in technology suggest that these Archaic settlers may have Central American origins. Whether an Ortoiroid colonization of the islands took place is uncertain, but there is little evidence of one.
Between 400 B.C.E. and 200 B.C.E. the first ceramic-using agriculturalists, the Saladoid culture, entered Trinidad from South America. They expanded up the Orinoco River to Trinidad, and then spread rapidly up the islands of the Caribbean. Some time after 250 C.E. another group, the Barancoid, entered Trinidad. The Barancoid society collapsed along the Orinoco around 650 C.E. and another group, the Arauquinoid, expanded into these areas and up the Caribbean chain. Around 1300 C.E. a new group, the Mayoid, entered Trinidad and remained the dominant culture until Spanish settlement.
At the time of the European discovery of most of the islands of the Caribbean, three major Amerindian indigenous peoples lived on the islands: the Tano in the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas and the Leeward Islands, the Island Caribs and Galibi in the Windward Islands, and the Ciboney in western Cuba. The Tanos are subdivided into Classic Tanos, who occupied Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, Western Tanos, who occupied Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamian archipelago, and the Eastern Tanos, who occupied the Leeward Islands. Trinidad was inhabited by both Carib speaking and Arawak-speaking groups.
Soon after Christopher Columbus came to the Caribbean, both Portuguese and Spanish explorers began claiming territories in Central and South America. These early colonies brought gold to Europe; most specifically England, the Netherlands, and France. These nations hoped to establish profitable colonies in the Caribbean. Colonial rivalries made the Caribbean a cockpit for European wars for centuries.
During the first voyage of the explorer Christopher Columbus (mandated by the Spanish crown), contact was made with the Lucayans in the Bahamas and the Tano in Cuba and the northern coast of Hispaniola, and a few of the native people were taken back to Spain. Small amounts of gold were found in their personal ornaments and other objects such as masks and belts. The Spanish, who came seeking wealth, enslaved the native population and rapidly drove them to near-extinction. To supplement the Amerindian labor, the Spanish later began bringing African slaves to their colonies. Although Spain claimed the entire Caribbean, they settled only the larger islands of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, and Trinidad.
After the Spanish Empire declined, in part due to the reduced native population of the area from diseases carried from Europe, to which the native peoples had no natural resistance, other European powers established a presence in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean region was war-torn throughout much of its colonial history, but the wars were often based in Europe, with only minor battles fought in the Caribbean. Some wars, however, were born of political turmoil in the Caribbean itself. The wars fought in the Caribbean included:
Haiti, the former French colony of St. Domingue on Hispaniola, was the first Caribbean nation to gain independence from European powers when, in 1791, a slave rebellion of the Black Jacobins led by Toussaint l’Ouverture started the Haitian Revolution, establishing Haiti as a free, black republic by 1804. Haiti became the world’s oldest black republic, and the second-oldest republic in the Western Hemisphere, after the United States. The remaining two-thirds of Hispaniola were conquered by Haitian forces in 1821. In 1844, the newly-formed Dominican Republic declared its independence from Haiti.
Some Caribbean nations gained independence from European powers in the nineteenth century. Some smaller states are still dependencies of European powers today. Cuba remained a Spanish colony until the Spanish American War.
Between 1958 and 1962 most of the British-controlled Caribbean became the West Indies Federation before they separated into many separate nations.
Since the Monroe Doctrine, the United States gained a major influence on most Caribbean nations. In the early part of the twentieth century this influence was extended by participation in The Banana Wars. Areas outside British or French control became known in Europe as “America’s tropical empire.”
Victory in the Spanish-American War and the signing of the Platt Amendment in 1901 ensured that the United States would have the right to interfere in Cuban political and economic affairs, militarily if necessary. After the Cuban Revolution of 1959, relations deteriorated rapidly leading to the Bay of Pigs venture, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and successive U.S. attempts to destabilize the island, based upon Cold War fears of the Soviet threat. The U.S. invaded and occupied Hispaniola for 19 years (19151934), subsequently dominating the Haitian economy through aid and loan repayments. The U.S. invaded Haiti again in 1994 and in 2004 were accused by CARICOM of arranging a coup d’tat to remove elected Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
In 1965 23,000 U.S. troops were sent to the Dominican Republic to quash a local uprising against military rule. President Lyndon Johnson had ordered the invasion to stem what he deemed to be a “Communist threat.” However, the mission appeared ambiguous and was roundly condemned throughout the hemisphere as a return to gunboat diplomacy. In 1983 the U.S. invaded Grenada to remove populist left-wing leader Maurice Bishop. The U.S. maintains a naval military base in Cuba at Guantanamo Bay. The base is one of five unified commands whose “area of responsibility” is Latin America and the Caribbean. The command is headquartered in Miami, Florida.
Most islands at some point were, or still are, colonies of European nations:
The British West Indies were formerly united by the United Kingdom into a West Indies Federation. The independent countries which were once a part of the British West Indies still have a unified composite cricket team that successfully competes in test matches and one-day internationals. The West Indian cricket team includes the South American nation of Guyana, the only former British colony on that continent.
In addition, these countries share the University of the West Indies as a regional entity. The university consists of three main campuses in Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, a smaller campus in the Bahamas, and resident tutors in other contributing territories.
The nations of Belize and Guyana, although on the mainland of Central America and South America respectively, are former British colonies and maintain many cultural ties to the Caribbean and are members of CARICOM (Caribbean Community). Guyana participates in West Indies cricket tournaments and many players from Guyana have been in the West Indies Test cricket team. The Turneffe Islands (and many other islands and reefs) are part of Belize and lie in the Caribbean Sea. The nation of Suriname, on the mainland of South America, is a former Dutch colony and also a member of CARICOM.
Some of the bodies that several islands share in collaboration include:
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Posted: June 19, 2016 at 3:51 am
Many people have diseases that cause pain, or that make them suffer. Ending the lives of these people to take away their suffering is called euthanasia. This is sometimes regarded as different from assisted suicide, which is where someone helps another person to kill themselves. It is also different to murder, where the intent is not to end the person’s suffering, but to kill them for the killer’s own ends. Euthanasia can be voluntary, where the person who dies specifically asks for help in ending their life. There are cases, where the person is not able to say that they do, or do not, wish to die. These cases are usually called non-voluntary euthanasia. Involuntary euthanasia, where someone is killed against their will, is generally regarded as murder.
Euthanasia is illegal in most countries. It is permitted in a small number of countries, such as the Netherlands and Belgium. Where it is permitted it is very tightly regulated, and it is only permitted in cases where the patient is terminally ill.
When discussing euthanasia, euthanasia is generally separated into active and passive euthanasia, and voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia. Many people see important differences between these different types of euthanasia, so that they can accept some types but not others.
Passive euthanasia can be described as “letting die”. When passive euthanasia occurs, a terminally ill person is allowed to die, even though treatment could have allowed them to live longer. Examples of passive euthanasia include removing life support from a patient, (such as a ventilator which is being used to keep the person alive), or not providing a patient with food or water. Active euthanasia, on the other hand, involves deliberately acting to end a person’s life. This may occur through giving them an injection of a drug that will kill them, or by giving them pills that will result in their death.
Some people see passive euthanasia as a more acceptable choice, because it does not involve a deliberate act to kill. However, others argue that once someone has decided to allow another person to die, they should make it as fast and as painless as possible, and act to bring about their death.
If someone asks to be allowed to die, or if they ask to be killed, then they have asked for voluntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is often seen as the best by people who believe in euthanasia, because it is clear that the person wants to die. If the person can not say that they wish to die, but people think that they would ask to die if they could, then it is non-voluntary euthanasia. Non-voluntary euthanasia is sometimes a choice for people who are in a coma or who are very young, as they can not say what they want to do. Involuntary euthansia is when someone is killed even though they asked not to die, or when they could have asked to die but did not. Many people do not think that this is euthanasia. Instead they think that it is murder.
The types of euthanasia, active/passive and voluntary/non-voluntary/involuntary can be put together. If someone asks to die, and another person gives them an injection that will kill them, then it is active voluntary euthanasia. But if someone is in a coma and is only alive because of a ventilator, and the doctors turn the ventilator off and they die, then it would be passive non-voluntary euthanasia.
Some people believe that euthanasia should be allowed, and some people think that it should not be allowed.
Even if euthanasia is not a bad thing, some people believe that allowing euthanasia will result in bad things happening. If euthanasia is allowed to happen for people asking to die, people might then think that it is ok to allow euthanasia for people who are very sick but are not able to ask to die. And if that was allowed, then maybe they would allow euthanasia for people who are very sick and will not recover, but do not want to die. This is called the “slippery slope” argument.
People who believe in the slippery slope argument point to times when this seems to have happened. In Germany, Adolf Hitler allowed disabled children to be killed, and called it euthanasia. People today agree that what Hitler did was very wrong, but some people think that if euthanasia was allowed it would lead to similar things happening again. So they think that it would be too big a risk to allow euthanasia at all.
Other people say that this is wrong. There is a big difference between killing someone who is very sick, in pain, and asks to die, and killing a child just because they have a disability. They say that it is not true that allowing euthanasia will lead to bad things. They also say that what Hitler did was not euthanasia, and did not happen because they allowed euthanasia.
Palliative care is when people who are ill are given special care to make them more comfortable. In regard to euthanasia, palliative care can be given to patients who are dying. It may include hospice care, when the patient is sent to a special hospital that is just for people who are dying, and which is meant to make their death as comfortable as possible. Palliative care can involve pain relief and help for the patient and family to come to terms with death. In some cases, doctors will give patient drugs which make them stay asleep, so that they will not feel pain.
Palliative care is not perfect, and so it is not always seen as a replacement for euthanasia. There is still some pain, and there can be other side-effects, where the patient can still feel very sick. Palliative care is not available for all people, and not all people who wish to die through euthanasia are sick so that they will die soon some people have healthy bodies, but they are suffering in other ways, and palliative care will not always help them.
The principle of double effect was first described by Thomas Aquinas over 700 years ago. It says that it is sometimes ok to do something even if a bad thing will happen if a good thing also happens, and if it was the good thing that they wanted. Aquinas used the example of self defense: sometimes when they are attacked a person will kill the attacker, but the death of the attacker was not what the person was trying to do. They only wanted to protect themselves. So even though killing someone is bad, what they wanted to do protect themselves was not.
Some people say that doctors may treat a person in order to reduce the pain that they are suffering, but that as a result the person will die sooner. If the doctor gives the treatment in order to help the patient die, then it is euthanasia. But if the doctor gives the treatment in order to stop the pain, and does not intend for the patient to die, then it may not be euthanasia, even if the doctor knew that the treatment would kill the patient.
Suicide is when a person kills themselves. Sometimes when a person is very sick they need help to die, and if someone helps them to kill themselves, it is called assisted suicide. In some countries people are allowed to help someone to kill themselves, so long as they do not kill the person, and it can be seen as a more acceptable option because it must be the person’s own decision. Because a second person did not kill the other person, it is not always considered to be euthanasia, as some people see an important difference between someone killing themselves and someone killing another person, and they believe that euthanasia is only when a second person kills the first.
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